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Arsenal urged to stop playing Odegaard if they want Real Madrid permanent deal

Paul Merson has urged Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to stop playing Martin Odegaard.

The Gunners want to sign the Real Madrid playmaker on a permanent deal after impressing on loan so far.

But Merson has questioned why his former club are playing the 22-year-old on a regular basis if they don't have a chance of making the deal permanent.

"Martin Odegaard looks a really good player and I hope Arsenal have a chance of signing him permanently," the Arsenal legend wrote in Daily Star.

"Because if they don't have a chance of making his loan permanent next season, why is he playing? If they know he doesn't want to stay, he shouldn't be playing because he's taking opportunities away from people like Emile Smith Rowe.

"So I hope Arsenal have done their homework and know what the situation is - I'd be disappointed if they haven't already made a bid to be honest!

"It took him a while to adjust but you have to give him the ball. He gets into lots of good positions, and to start with his team-mates weren't seeing him. They weren't giving him the ball. But now he's getting it more often and he's making things happen. He can hurt opposing teams.

"It's almost a free role and for someone so young to be trusted with such a difficult position at such a young age is a big deal.

"But if he's okay after his injury and he helps Arsenal win the Europa League, Real Madrid will probably want him back - or add a lot more money to his asking price."

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